Tinting goes hunting for a meteor

The Shooting Star - Hergé

I'm not sure whether we could really call these group of albums the 'War Albums' because while they were written during World War II (and while Herge was living in occupied Belgium) there is no mention of the war. This is not surprising because, unless he was incredibly subtle (which he is not) by writing about the war would likely raise the ire of one of the sides, and it did not seem that Herge was willing to throw his hat in with the Nazis (which is a good thing because otherwise we would never have had Tintin). Herge did receive some flack for being a collaborator, but it did not seem to stick.

If there is any reflection on the war in this album, it would have a lot to do with the idea that it is the end of the world. While walking through Brussels, Tintin sees a strange star, and when he visits the observatory, discovers that it is heading directly to Earth. He goes home in a panic, thinking that the world is going to end, but when the worst that happens in a Earthquake, he dances down the street in joy (and I must say, seeing somebody dancing through the streets singing 'its only an Earthquake' is comedy of which only Herge is capable). Anyway, it turns out that a meteor struck the earth, so Tintin organises an expedition to go and find it.

However, Tintin cannot be Tintin without an antagonist, and this one is in the form of an international bank that is bankrolling another expedition. Because they want the other team to proceed, they attempt to sabotage Tintin's mission (and fail of course). As I read this I found that making the bank an antagonist to be an interesting move. It could quite well be a little jab at the allies here, particularly since if there was one institution that was playing both sides it was the banks. In fact there have been whole books written on how Wall Street Financiers bankrolled Hitler's rise to power, and then bankrolled the war simply because war means profit.

The only other connection with the war that I could ascertain would be the idea of the end of the world. To somebody living in occupied Belgium in 1942, this is what it must have seemed like. Hitler was at the height of his power and the only thing that was stopping England from being overrun was a little moat known as the English Channel. Okay, by this time the Battle of Britain had been won, and Hitler was looking to Russia quite greedily, however it would still be at most three years before the war would come to an end. However, as in the previous album, and in the next one, Herge takes us far away from the war to another realm where we can have an adventure and forget about the worries that affect us today.

 

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/273440210